Wikipedia talk:Categories for discussion

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Notifying stakeholders and natural justice[edit]

...from...Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2017_October_31#Category:Wikipedians_who_have_had_the_appearance_of_their_user_page_modified_against_their_will

  • VegaDark wrote:

    Comment I find it striking that both @Floquenbeam: and @No such user:, two users who happen to be members of the category in quesiton both suddenly decided to participate in this discussion. I would like to assume good faith, but my brain tells me otherwise. @SmokeyJoe:, I would be foolish not to ask if you have any insight into this after your history of proclaiming that such discussions are a violation of "natural justice" and pinging category members in the past. VegaDark (talk) 23:45, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

Coming back here, because we are having too many interesting conversations buried CfD logs. These conversations involve me, and especially VegaDark, User:Black Falcon and User:BrownHairedGirl (who seems inactive). Also sadly missing from these entertaining category-philosophy forays are User:Good Olfactory, and User:Kbdank71 (who doesn’t like to be pinged)

  • CANVASSING? I think it is rich to call notification of members of a usercategory “canvassing”. Instead, I consider them to be active and overt stakeholders who should be notified of a formal discussion directly involving their actions.
  • Are all non-collaborative usercategories the same here? No.
    • Joke categories, whether pathetic of hilarious, I don’t worry about. A joke has value in its delivery; it is not for plastering on walls indefinitely, although some do do this. I don’t feel a desire to invite jokers to CfDs. The best jokers know that a good joke is told in the moment and then we move on. Only the bad jokers would turn up.
    • Borderline project-related philosophy (eg humourless, or autistic, or adventurous Wikipedians) and potential resource (eg multilingual Wikipedians). I am unhappy, almost upset, at the cavalier willingness to simply delete, to discard possible poorly articulated but genuine efforts to volunteer help to the project. Some of these philosophical people have useful perspectives that can contribute to the community and project. Many of them need (I note from real world experience) need a little assistance and welcome to get this working. Self-categorising multilingual Wikipedians, they should be invited to volunteers-willing-to-help-with-translations sign up pages, they should not be subjected to a hidden formal discussion that decides a bot is to remove their userpage edit along with zero other communication.
    • Protest categories. Here, is gets really interestingly complicated. While there is a WP:POINT angle, the “disruption” is exaggerated. Notice that these categories are populated by knowledgeable experienced Wikipedians? For these, it is downright offensive to hold a formal decision-making discussion about their protest without inviting them.
  • Natural justice. Read the article. Why does it not apply? For me, it applies particularly upon someone saying (BHG I think it was) that users who put deleted categories back on their userpage should be WP:Blocked. Per natural justice, if a decision is taken that chastises you or binds your future allowed behaviour, and you were not invited to explain/defend yourself, that decision demands to be repudiated. The Wikipedia-textbook answer here is WP:DR. CfD does WP:DR very poorly.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:44, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Moi aussi, je suis Floq. Drmies (talk) 00:49, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Last time this was discussed, you agreed that users who are members of a category are more likely to !vote keeping that category. I highly doubt anyone would disagree with that assertion. That says just about all that needs to be said in my view. You are never going to get a neutral CfD when this occurs. Leaving discussion for the people who choose to visit CfD is far more likely to achieve a neutral cross section of the Wikipedia community rather than people personally invested in the categories. Most of the time people notified don't give a damn about WP:USERCAT and support keeping because they like it, or sometimes an incredibly far-fetched claim about how it can support collaboration (because they have caught on to that being what user categories live or die by, in general). I think you've actually agreed with this recently, suggesting that the closing admin will discount such !votes when closing. Put another way, if there was a public city council meeting about a decision to ban guns (we will pretend for a minute that this is something that a city council could do), on average you are only going to get those interested in community council decisions in general to show up to these type of meetings. Now, let's pretend that someone is really pissed that the city council is considering that idea, so they tell the local NRA branch that the council is going to have a hearing on this. At the council meeting, you are going to have a disproportionate amount of pro-gun people than what is reflected from the average community member because only the pro-gun people were specifically notified. And, because the pro-gun people are the loudest and sizable group at the meeting, the city council ultimately decides that not banning guns is a good idea. If the NRA were never notified you would have far less biased people show up, their voice would not be as loud, and the city council might decide to ban guns based on the group that normally shows up to these meetings. While this certainly is allowable in a democracy, it is not desirable on Wikipedia due to our WP:CANVASSING guideline. There is no group to notify to counter-balance the disproportionate addition of those category members being specifically notified. The result is a huge uphill battle to delete any user category out of the gate - basically you have to have a slam dunk to get a deletion because you have to count on every non-canvassed person who comes across the CfD to agree with you. This will (and already has) resulted in categories being kept that should have been deleted under our guidelines. And then, when those categories are kept, it gives ammunition for others to point to that category to say "See! We kept that one! So we should keep this one too!". It's incredibly harmful for those of us who care about the integrity of our user category system to be only contacting a group who are disproportionately predisposed towards keeping. What you call natural justice, I say ultimately results in harming the encyclopedia. I would support a list somewhere of people who wish to receive a ping when a user category is discussed, because people who self-select for such a list are presumed neutral going in. Alternatively, we could ping a group of self-described deletionists in proportion to the number of category members pinged as a sort of counter-balance, but I'm unsure if that would solve the issue either. VegaDark (talk) 01:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Last time this was discussed, you agreed that users who are members of a category are more likely to !vote keeping that category. I highly doubt anyone would disagree with that assertion. That says just about all that needs to be said in my view. You are never going to get a neutral CfD when this occurs. This is akin to suggesting that parents should not make decisions on behalf of their children, because parents are too close to their kids to be objective. It's like suggesting that American's shouldn't be permitted to vote in American elections, because they're not neutral about it. It's like suggesting that Wikipedians should not be able to contribute to discussions on Wikipedia because we're vested in the outcome. I mean, this is truly one of -if not the- most shockingly ignorant suggestions I have ever seen in my entire life, on Wikipedia or elsewhere. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:42, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Nothing of what you said actually addresses my central point that such notifications disproportionately affect the outcomes of the discussions in question. To use one of your own examples, it's more like saying that society as a whole should be making laws about vaccinating children rather than the actually affected parents becoming the decision makers directly. Anti-vax parents are going to make laws so one-sided that the rest of society will suffer from their biased decisions regarding vaccination laws. If you reach out to a specific group more likely to be anti-vax when drafting up the laws, you are ultimately going to have laws slanted in that direction. This has been a clever attempt to try and push this idea as added transparency from the crew that undoubtedly knows it will result in their real goal of it being harder to delete user categories, to try and get around the existing guideline that they disagree with (and failed to change at the last RfC). While we are here, perhaps we can discuss use of the {{fmbox}} to display categories instead of repopulating them as redlinks? Why have you refused to even discuss this solution that was proposed nicely on your talk page? As I said there, it's a great commonsense solution that allows you to display whatever joke/nonsense category you want without disrupting the work of those that work on redlinks. It gives those that work on categories everything they want while those that like joke categories about 99% of what they want (an idential userpage, just the category itself would not be populated with other users who placed that on their page). Is that 1% so important to you to defy consensus and disrupt those who work with populating redlinks? VegaDark (talk) 03:00, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
I take back what I said above. You've now managed an even more fundamentally ignorant statement, and tossed a healthy heaping of sanctimonious hypocrisy in there, too. I'm not arguing with an editor who's going to whine about consensus as he defies it himself, and I ain't explaining shit to anyone I think is incapable of understanding it, so fuck you; I'm done. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 03:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC)


Last time this was discussed, you agreed that users who are members of a category are more likely to !vote keeping that category.
Right, that’s a fairly safe expectation, for first contact between category-misunderstanding Wikipedians and CfD. Key points are WP:!Vote; and in CfD D is for “discussion”. It may be difficult for all involved, given the gulf between perspectives on these members. You were maybe right, I said, meaning that it may be chaos, too much chaos to suddenly invite all stakeholders for the first time.
That says just about all that needs to be said in my view.
No, I can’t agree there. There is a dispute. It has been there a long time. On one side are CfD regulars like you with a strong focused view on the purpose of categories. On the other are non-category experienced editors with a much more relaxed view. There is a dispute, dispute resolution requires dialogue. It may be unpredictable chaos to jump into it my preferred way (invite all stakeholders), but it is still a dispute and dispute resolution requires dialogue, and dialogue requires participation in the discussions by the stakeholders.
You are never going to get a neutral CfD when this occurs.
You’re probably right. I agree. Is “neutral” necessary? Maybe CfD is the wrong venue. I think an RfC here, WT:CfD is a better idea. However, RfCs have their own big problems. I feel they are handicapped by their usual poorly phrased, non-productive opening question. I have tried, here for example, to discuss ways to improve RfCs in practice. I think the answer might be a pre-RfC staging discussion to agree on the facts, on the question, and on a useful wording of the question.
Leaving discussion for the people who choose to visit CfD is far more likely to achieve a neutral cross section of the Wikipedia community .
Your sentence is defendable, but the one altered by me, absolutely not. CfD regulars are a particularly extreme of a biased set of Wikipedians. There are many nice things I can say about that set, but definitely still biased.
I agree that most of the people notified about a their nominated USERCAT open their contributions to the CfD with quite policy-contrary !votes. Inexperienced Wikipedians with ILIKEIT. Experienced Wikipedians with subtle satire, with an underlying self-referential acknowledgement of the non-policy-compliance of their !vote. I wonder if you read their !votes like me. I am still working on an understanding of your astounding sense of humor.
I’m waiting to see if an expert closer can make a good close of Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2017_October_8#Category:Wikipedians_without_a_sense_of_humor, noting my comment “As the CfD non-regulars are putting unusual rationales, to avoid possible perceptions of the CfD clique at play, I suggest getting an outside admin to close this one. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:18, 17 October 2017 (UTC)”.
Wikipedia is not like public city council meeting. We close by WP:Consensus, on by the quality of the arguments given on the various sides of an issue, as viewed through the lens of Wikipedia policy. Let’s give it a go?
huge uphill battle to delete any user category out of the gate
Yes! I have noted the battle mentality. I have noted the pick-your-battles mentality. Delete the low hanging fruit first. Be surreptitious (don’t notify interested parties; don’t explain anything to the miscreants; execute the userpage edits by bot). While I understand that your intentions are completely honest and believed to be entirely in the interest of the product, it irks.
This will (and already has) resulted in categories being kept that should have been deleted under our guidelines.
I read this as proof the something is broken, one of (a) CfD; (b) the guidelines; (c) WP:Consensus.
"See! We kept that one! So we should keep this one too!"
Evidence for need for policy-level discussion.
What you call natural justice, I say ultimately results in harming the encyclopedia.
Argument for oligarchy. No. There is disagreement calling for resolution by discussion. Continuing usercat CfDs without notification of stakeholders is to take the wrong direction. I think the answer is probably an RfC on this page on an agreed set of facts and question. My preferred outcome is that inappropriate usercatories should be listified before being deleted.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:02, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
I appreciate your actual thoughtful comments on the issue as opposed to the above exchange. We can agree that more policy level discussion should be had, and we can agree that something is broken along the way. There's no way we should have a guideline that is only followed most of the time, with exceptions for things a big enough group of people like. We wouldn't tolerate a joke page in mainspace just because it was funny. Not to mention when we try to actually enforce this we are decried as category police - We shouldn't have a guideline that so many people tolerate disrespect for. I'm not saying get rid of the guideline, I'm saying we need to have a discussion that makes it abundantly clear that what we are doing is reflecting consensus so people will respect that and will support backing up sanctions against a user who won't abide by that consensus. It's pointless to have a guideline when so many are prepared to support turning the other cheek on enforcing it. I would have expected that the latest RfC resulting in no change to the guideline would mean that people would start respecting this more, and perhaps it has to a small degree, but there's still a long way to go. As for your oligarchy comments, it's not some sort of closed system that people have no control over - Anybody can make their way to CfD if they so choose. If it's an oligarchy then it's an oligarchy by virtue of choosing not to care enough to participate in this area of the encyclopedia. I'd like to think that the majority of neutral people will see the wisdom of the guideline and the arguments put forth and make arguments in furtherance of the guideline. If people thought our category system was broken, more people would probably come participate to help address that. One might wonder if the lack of participants at CfD is at least partially due to us doing a good job and people trusting us to continue doing a good job without feeling the need to step in themselves. I remember when user categories reached a boiling point and you had admins speedy deleting them per IAR and later the deletion being upheld at DRV. I've often felt after that like the only thing separating us from returning to those days is our good work of keeping the unencyclopedic categories down to a minimum since. The current climate has me wondering what the new boiling point would be, if any. VegaDark (talk) 07:45, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree with VegaDark's generalized concern about editorial "rebellion" against guidelines. This problem has been worsening and it needs to be curtailed, on multiple fronts and with regard to multiple guidelines, because it is disruptive and corrosive. But I also agree with most of SmokeyJoe's take on the specifics – i.e., VegaDark's concerns are real, but the don't map too well onto these specific category (and category-discussion) concerns. That SJ part I didn't agree with (if I may add my own little wiki-philosophical text wall here) was his take on "protest" categories. Their direct effect is not particularly disruptive, but the long-term effect is terribly so, because it's a WP:CANVASSING and WP:GANG farm for WP:POV / WP:SOAPBOX and WP:OR problems. Same goes for "advocacy" userboxes, and "campaigning" pseudo-wikiprojects, like the "WikiProject English" that was deleted twice for being a cabal of anti-consensus lobbying against diacritics. A lot of dysfunctional wikiprojects (two or three WP:OWN freaks acting as a tagteam) need to get nuked as well. As WP has become one of the most important information sources in the world and one of the most-used websites, by billions, the external pressure to warp our content, and literal control over it, by third parties who are here to advance a particular viewpoint or to promote something for monetary gain, increases inexorably. You think vandalism's a problem? "Civil PoV", "slow editwar", undisclosed political COI, and conspiratorial infiltration of the admin ranks are going the be the real collective threat to WP's long-term survival. So, death to advocacy and viewpoint user categories (aside from strictly-wiki ones like inclusionism, yadda yadda).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  08:46, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks VG and SMcC. Protest categories. What if we could write a line into WP:Policy “You may protest in essays, but you may not make protest-categories”. (Protest essays will be categorised). And make a new WP:CSD#C criterion for “protest categories”. That would be clear. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:06, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't that encourage more WP:NOTHERE essay writing? I'd prefer we just quietly delete protest categories without suggesting an alternative on-WP venue for the sentiment, as a generalized WP:NOTFORUM / WP:SOAPBOX matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  07:54, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Protest categories are too few-and-far-between to warrant a new CSD criterion. They are already covered under WP:USERCAT. -- Black Falcon (talk) 21:14, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
SMcCandlish. WP:NOTHERE essay writing? I have never heard of this being a problem, and I get involved in all the userspace essay deletion nominations. You'd prefer to just quietly delete...? Isn't that the oligarchy star chamber problem that will always upset people? WP:NOTFORUM/ WP:SOAPBOX most definitely does not apply to criticism of or relating to the project by experienced Wikipedians.
Black Falcon, I would argue for it. Past IAR deletions approved at DRV is evidence for existing community agreement. However, even short of a CSD criterion, if anyone doesn't agree to inviting all stakeholders to deletion discussions, there had better be CSD-style tight objective and uncontestable reason for deletion written into policy. This is definitely not the case with USERCAT. While I don't want to share in the language of others here, I definitely agree that since 2007, USERCAT policy has developed outside community involvement, thus, its claim to consensus is weak. WP:Silence certainly doesn't apply. I only came to know about usercategory issues due to many upheld valid claims at DRV. Bottom line, if protest and nonsense categories are not deleteable per policy to the standards of CSD, then stakeholders must be invited to the decision making discussions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:01, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
The USERCAT guideline was spawned from community involvement (I've shared stats on participation levels below) and has been upheld in thousands of discussions since then, so the statement that "its claim to consensus is weak" is simply unfounded. I certainly have no objection to inviting stakeholders but we appear to disagree on who is a stakeholder.
Also, after reading the informative exchange above between you and User:VegaDark, I think we ought to distinguish between different types of user category disagreements. It is natural that reasonable editors disagree in some cases about the utility of a particular user category, or about the application of the guideline, and of course it is good to have some healthy disagreement. We should not, however, encourage or kowtow to disputes that arise from an ownership complex (i.e. I don't care what you do to categories A, B and C, but nobody touches my category.) or something approaching narcissistic megalomania (i.e. Fuck off, the rules don't apply to me!). -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:39, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Black Falcon, it's not as if categories already has too many speedy criteria is it?
The thousands of discussions upholding USERCAT is a failing argument because: (1) redundancy in the participants; and (2) if it were resolved, there would not have been thousands of follow-up discussions.
I have not before read your opinion on who might be a stakeholder. I hold that anyone who might be chastised for repeating a previous action (namely, adding a category line to their userpage), is obviously a stakeholder. Were you disagreeing there?
distinguish between different types of user category disagreements? Absolutely. Do you like my three types: (1) Joke categories; (2) Borderline project-related philosophy (eg humourless, or autistic, or adventurous Wikipedians) and potential resource (eg multilingual Wikipedians); (3) Protest categories? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:27, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Black Falcon, it's not as if categories already has too many speedy criteria is it? No, but do we really need a speedy criterion that will be used perhaps 10 times a year?
The advantage of a CSD is that it demands a much higher level of objectivity, and of consensus, than any other policy, let alone guideline. Just an idea. I would probably be sufficient to try to tighten or better define the USERCAT guideline. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:34, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't object to a new CSD that makes it easier to delete bad categories, but per Black Falcon I also don't think it would be used very often/would be necessary. VegaDark (talk) 08:02, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
The thousands of discussions upholding USERCAT is a failing argument because: (1) redundancy in the participants; and (2) if it were resolved, there would not have been thousands of follow-up discussions. (1) The "redundancy" claim is both inaccurate (see participation stats below) and a red herring—yes, a relatively small group of several dozen editors are common participants in most CfD discussions, but the exact same could be said of discussions at FfD, MfD, RfD, TfD, ... really, any discussion venue that focuses on more technical (i.e. non-article) part of Wikipedia. (2) Not so. There are thousands of deletion discussions revolving around notability, encyclopedic content, and original research, but that does not call into question Wikipedia:Notability, WP:NOT or WP:OR. I could provide a dozen examples of "it is well-established that editors should not do [X]", where people (usually unaware of guidelines/policies) nevertheless do [X] on a daily basis. -- Black Falcon (talk) 22:59, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
I have not before read your opinion on who might be a stakeholder. I hold that anyone who might be chastised for repeating a previous action (namely, adding a category line to their userpage), is obviously a stakeholder. Were you disagreeing there? Ah, you're right there... sorry about that! :) In my view, a stakeholder is one who had an active role in creating the category—i.e. the category's creator or, in the case of a single-user category, the sole editor in the category. Someone who just happened to come across an existing category and thought it would be neat to add to their user page is not a stakeholder.
OK. I definitely disagree. Someone who self identifies as something (albeit by a non-recommended method), who then sees that self-identifying declaration edit reverted, and reverts, and is nominally subject to chastisement for edits on their own userpage, their a stakeholder. I'm a long way from being persuaded otherwise. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:34, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Do you like my three types: (1) Joke categories; (2) Borderline project-related philosophy (eg humourless, or autistic, or adventurous Wikipedians) and potential resource (eg multilingual Wikipedians); (3) Protest categories? I was looking at it more from the standpoint of the tone of the disagreement, not the type of category. I admit the ones you've listed are currently the ones causing the most consternation, but really any category could become the locus of a dispute if an editor chooses to start one. Cheers, -- Black Falcon (talk) 22:59, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
This "stakeholder" stuff strikes me as a non-helpful analysis, anyway. Reader-facing categories are for content classification and navigation. Internal categories are for getting stuff done. If a usercat doesn't serve an encyclopedia-building purpose (broadly construed, and we do construe it really broadly), then it should go. The person who created the category isn't really a "stakeholder", per WP:OWN and WP:VESTED; rather, we want their input because they're the one person most likely to be able to provide the rationale for the category's creation, and this helps us determine whether it should be kept and renamed, or whatever. People using the questionable category aren't "stakeholders" in any sense that's meaningful. Exactly how strongly they want to declare that they're autodidacts, that they wish they had more cats, that they're trilled Trump is the US president, or that they have a short attention span, this has no effect at all on whether this is best expressed with a category (which it is not); they have other means of expressing this such as userboxes, fake categorization, a big {{Notice}} on their user page, writing a user essay, etc., etc. If every means were being closed to them, then they'd be stakeholders, against a censorious position that it's impermissible to declare at all on Wikipedia one's love of Legolas, hatred of spaghetti, fear of clowns in wet clothing, refusal to use periods/stops with abbreviations, or opposition to the civility policy existing. When it comes to categories that have nothing to do with collaboration – or worse yet are anti-collaboration, anti-consensus, or anti-Wikipedia – it's just noise. No amount of "fan" emotional desire to keep such a category has any real bearing on the question. The alleged stake is illusory. By way of example, I'd be opposed to someone trying to nuke my The Fifth Element "meat popsicle" joke userbox (which is also a disguised objection to idiosyncratic identity politics interfering with Wikipedia), but it would be utterly sensible for CfD to delete – without my input – any category I created for it, and I'd be engaging in a tiny bit of WP:NOTHERE if I went on the warpath to keep the category. We don't need input like that at CfD.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  10:59, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Declaring the unworthy to be not stakeholders, not worth inviting to the discussion, as before, that’s called oligarchy, and is extremely upsetting to the excluded. If your right, in discussion your arguments will persuade. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:39, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
And in an argument where attempts at persuasion will not change the facts, we don't need the heat.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  13:40, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
My reading if the problem is that CfD-ers responding to ill-advised attempts at expression or networking through use of usercatgories by knee-jerk deletion and cutting of lines on userpages is what generates the upset. If feel it personally. There are better ways to respond. Theses have been mentioned many times, but you were not involved. Ideas include: Inserting a leading colon, so that not text added to the userpage is removed. Advising users attempting to participate in usercat networking of better ways to network. Asking nicely before making decisions in the star-chamber-like practice of CfD. Adhering to the principles of natural justice, noting that several people think CfD decisions are binding on people knowingly not invited to the discussions. The heat comes from the injustice, not from any actual need to have certain categories. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:27, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
No one is being tried, and no one is being biased against for their particular viewpoints, be they pro or con, so I don't see the natural justice angle. The heat I'm referring to is that of advocacy to keep using WP for advocacy (and using inappropriate parts of it for humor and trivia). There may also be some other kind(s) of heat, like being angry about the loss of category, yes. But all these alternative you list above are not really alternatives, but alsos. We do not have to retain a pointless category to suggest any/all of these alternatives to the "stakeholders". How hard is it to say "this category has been deleted, but you can put the same thing in a userbox", or whatever. Maybe the solution is to take your list of also/alternative things and write them up with pointers, and put that into a page somewhere with a convenient shortcut. WP:USERCATALT? I'm not trying to filibuster practical, user-assuaging ends, by any means. Am trying to help clean up the category system. I got rid of a bunch of user categories last year or maybe it was earlier this year, so I'm not uninvolved entirely; I'm just not part of what you call a star chamber (more unhelpful mischaracterization, like the "censorship" comments in a particular ongoing MfD). This XfD is a site-wide cleanup process like the rest of them; the fact that few editors really care much about it doesn't make it a secretive court of unaccountable injustice intended to protect the powerful.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:17, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
"No one is being tried, and no one is being biased against"? Review Wikipedia_talk:User_categories/Archive_1#Request_for_comment_on_our_proposed_policy_for_users_remaining_in_redlinked_categories, namely "Option 1" VegaDark (talk) 22:03, 6 January 2017 (UTC) and worse: "Propose new Option 0" -BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:46, 8 January 2017 (UTC). Formal chastisements are on the cards. I have even felt personally affronted, referring to my userpage: 02:28, 15 May 2007‎; 05:01, 27 October 2009‎; and still annoyed at 11:48, 12 September 2012‎; noting the similarly useless 09:36, 13 May 2010‎; which proves sporadic application of unclear usercate principles. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:29, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Much of the rest of what you say I think we are headed towards agreement. I will wait for Black Falcon to propose some details, anticipating something very sensible.
"This XfD is a site-wide cleanup process"? Well no, it is not like the rest is some ways, but it is unlikely to be worth the time trying to explain.
Censorship and star chambers? These are perceptions often held by people who feel subjected to injustice. It doesn't matter that on close examination it is not strictly true, the perception and the reaction is real. The answer is not to argue definitions of emotive words, but to adjust practice and procedure to make more people feel more welcome. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:38, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Well, I can hardly mount any argument that what you feel isn't what you really feel, but if we're all about feels now, I'm not sure what there is to talk about. Probably said more than enough already. Not my intent to bludgeon the discussion (or you in particular). We just seem to have irreconcilable differences of viewpoint, on multiple things. I'll repeat that I support the idea of being clearer and more helpful to users with regard to alternatives to user categories that aren't likely to survive CfD.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:43, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

The "consensus" for removing joke categories[edit]

The first time on WP which I could find where "joke" categories were deprecated was on August 10, 2006 when the page Wikipedia:Guidelines for user categories was written as a policy proposal by Cswrye. By September 5th, with only two edits to the talk page (meaning no appreciable discussion of the proposal) and with no subsequent disagreement with the edit, Radiant! marked the page as {{historical}}, or not a seriously considered policy proposal.

Almost two years later on Ferbruary 9, 2008, Black Falcon created Wikipedia:Overcategorization/User categories, purporting to "...clarify consensus and precedent regarding user categories;". It can be seen during a number of edits over the course of the next day or so that BF recreated the proposed list of appropriate/inappropriate user categories from the failed policy proposal above. Note that this list has never appeared on Wikipedia:Overcategorization, despite the claim of consensus in the page creation edit summary. I can find no record of any discussion that might have produced any such consensus at the talk page.

Years later, on November 8, 2010 Jc37 merged content from that page to Wikipedia:User categories based entirely upon a brief discussion between themself and ...drumroll please... Black Falcon.

So in short: the "consensus" that keeps getting thrown out as evidence that these discussions are simply following a well-established policy is a consensus of TWO editors. I suppose it's possible to claim that two people form a "community" but I wouldn't be surprised if no-one takes that seriously. I sure as hell don't.

The repeated harassment of me on my talk page was also in direct defiance of this consensus, which one might note contains a lot more than two editors and is quite clear that one should not continue to beat the dead horse of emptying categories that have been deleted. One might also note that there is no consensus anywhere that a handful of editors working on an obscure page without notifying other editors with a vested interest have any right to lay claim to a consensus. Indeed, there is a very clear consensus that this is a bullshit assertion. And of course, there's a (somewhat less so, but still clear) consensus that picking fights over what cats a user put on their page is pretty fucking disruptive. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:05, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

But we regularly remove joke categories, so it seems to be a consensus. How it arose isn't a particularly meaningful thing to research. I would ask, what encyclopedic purpose (or for a user category, more specifically encyclopedia-building purpose) do you think joke categories have? What's the point? If someone wants to make a joke, they can do by adding the joke to their userpage, even with {{Userbox|info=My joke here|other parameters}}.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  08:05, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: How many people participate in those deletion discussions? Five? Six? A dozen, at most. And how many of those would change their minds if joke cats weren't deprecated on a policy page? I might point out that the mere fact that they are deprecated on a policy page is a problem (almost certainly a policy vio; I seem to recall reading that changes should never be made to a policy page that substantially affect it's meaning without gaining a consensus first), as there was never any consensus to do so. There certainly was no consensus to keep them listed as inappropriate the last time there was a large community discussion. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:20, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Or even better, users can replicate the exact category box at the bottom of pages using {{fmbox}}, only that it won't actually populate the categories. The fact there is resistance to this solution suggests to me this isn't even about making jokes on a userpage so much as it is about making a point about disagreement with the guideline. VegaDark (talk) 08:17, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
It's clearly any calling out a bullshit claim to be acting on behalf of the community is what it is. — fortunavelut luna 08:26, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Huh? I'm still having trouble parsing that.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  09:25, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
@MjolnirPants: There is no rule that "changes should never be made to a policy page that substantially affect it's meaning without gaining a consensus first". The actual rule is "Talk page discussion typically precedes substantive changes to policy." (at WP:PGBOLD). Making a bold change to P&G page is is almost always WP:BRDed, and it's probably how we develop most policy, to the extent we're still even doing that. Someone makes a well-meaning change, it gets reverted, a discussion ensues, and it either emerges why it was a bad idea, or an adjusted version of it gains consensus and is added; usually the former, because 16+ years on we already have most of the policy we need, and should probably delete a lot of that we don't regularly use (see WP:AJR). When an bold substantive change to a P&G page goes unreverted, it's either because it makes sense and is accepted, or the page is so unwatched and un-cared-about no one noticed or bothered. It can be difficult to tell these apart for pages that aren't "major" (like the WP:CCPOLs and WP:MOS). The usual method is to open an RfC. It's about 100 × more productive to open an RfC about the substance of the wording at issue than about whether the addition had/has consensus. I also don't see any productive purpose in playing "what if" games about whether people would change their minds if we deleted the line-item about joke categories, though to answer your question, I suspect not, because such categories don't serve an encyclopedic or collaboration purpose, and are just trivial noise.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  09:29, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps I read it in an essay, but I can't help but notice that the header of that bullet point is "Talk first", not "It can be helpful to talk first, but feel free to make changes to your hearts content, so long as you follow WP:BRD". Second; the "what-if games" aren't games, it's me pointing out a weakness in the argument that the precedent establishes a consensus. My whole point is that the question is unanswerable. Finally; yes, this is one of those policy pages that doesn't get a lot of traffic. See the page view statistics. Notice how a discussion with four or five editors involved managed to triple the average daily views. Compare that to the page views for BRD, which averages the same number of views as this one spiked to. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:14, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
There would be no need to have a heading that said that, since it really is permissible to make a change without asking first, per WP:EDITING policy; it'll just likely get reverted. You're fishing in the wrong pond if you want to change that; try WT:EDITING if you want to seek to carve out an exception for P&G pages. The same kind of question you pose is answerable whatever variables you plug in. "How many RfC respondents would change their mind about diacritics if we had a policy or guideline that actually stated something firm instead of throwing up its hands?" "How many RM posters would say something different if COMMONNAME really was a style policy?" yadda yadda. It's not illustrative of anything. I don't doubt that this is a poorly watched guideline. The normal way to assess the consensus of something iffy in a rather "insular" P&G page is to open an RfC about the point in question at WP:VPPOL, or at the talk page of P/G in question and advertise the discussion at VPPOL, and in either case advertise it at other relevant talk pages. I do it all the time, and it works fine (though don't expect a huge flood of input; there are so many RfCs, attendance is usually thin, though more diverse that would be the case otherwise. I.e., there's no need or point to be kind of wandering in a land of I Dunno But I Wonder. Just find out. :-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:42, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
No, it's a guideline, and the guidance says "Talk first". That's good guidance. But it wasn't followed in this case. I'm okay with using BRD on policy pages, actually. What I have a problem with is when a specific section of policy is written by a very small group of editors on a little-trafficked page, who then use those elements of policy as an excuse to continue pushing a POV that obviously (else we wouldn't be here) disrupts the project. Vega has been reported to ANI twice over this, and almost got topic banned from CfD over it (I actually opposed that on the grounds that Vega hadn't had a chance to change their behavior at that time; predictably enough I'd have a different view now). BHG and BF have both alienated dozens of editors with their own support for this tactic. And an RfC has already been opened (by me, see Wikipedia talk:User categories) which resulted in "no consensus"; a result which you might recognize as being remarkably different from "there is a consensus to maintain this as policy". And yes, I'm aware that RfC was whether or not to change the policy as written, but notice how the close completely fails to address the arguments? That's understandable, given the length of the discussion, but it fails to acknowledge the fact that a large number of editors wanted this change, and the arguments against it ranged from the demonstrably wrong (claiming that permitting it wouldn't foster a sense of camaraderie in the face of scientific evidence that it would) to the demonstrably ignorant (claiming that it would result in more red-linked categories and thus more work for those who work in cat space), and concluded that the major problem was actually that categories are "in article space" which is itself demonstrably wrong (they're in category space, and some are used in article space, though none of the newly permitted ones would be). ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:11, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • If there actually is a consensus to ban joke cats anywhere on WP, I would like to see it. If not, I'm going to be removing that category from the "list" and possibly removing the entire list, and returning the guideline page to what it looked like before two editors decided to dictate new rules to the rest of us. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:44, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Policies supersede guidelines, the end. No amount of love for two words in a guideline (your hyper-literal interpretation of which is directlycontradicted by the actual sentence in the guideline) is going to magically get around that fact. Not going to circularly argue with you about this. You've been pointed at the proper venue for a) changing the policy and/or b) contesting the consensus for a line-item in this guideline. I've had way more than my fill of venty proof by assertion from people this week. Please give it a rest.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  19:02, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Policies supersede guidelines, but as far as I know there is no policy against joke user categories, at least not as such. I was trying to figure out what "policies" you were talking about, and based on a scan of the earlier text I'm guessing that your mentions of NOTFORUM and NOTSOAPBOX are what you meant? But to take those as banning user categories requires, well, interpretation. --Trovatore (talk) 20:12, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
We'll just have to disagree then. Why would categories be immune to those two particular aspects of WP:NOT? Are they exempt from others? Is it okay for me to use categories for soapboxing about a social justice issue? for arranging content into a how-to guide? to promote my company? to build a personal categorization system that means nothing to anyone but me? Anyway, we've been talking about two different things here for some reason. There does seem to be a consensus against joke categories. And someone is upset that this apparent consensus has formed and is questioning whether it's legit. The way to find out is to RfC it – the actual question about the joke categories, not silliness like whether its permissible at all to boldly edit a P&G page, which of course it is. If someone wants to change that, that'll also be an RfC, but a very different one, and it has nothing to do with categories.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:49, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
So here's something we can agree on, I think: WP:NOT does not say "no joke user categories". You can argue that it implies it, but the burden is on you to make the argument. So far I haven't seen it.
Honestly I think WP:NOT is mostly written with article space in mind. There are lots of things that are not allowed in article space that are generally tolerated in other spaces. There are limits, but you have to make a case that something is causing a problem. --Trovatore (talk) 01:40, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish:You can complain about my "hyper literal" interpretation all you want; it doesn't change the fact that a more literal interpretation is usually a better one when it comes to guidelines which, themselves, don't rely on any sort of similes or metaphors. Your claim that the following sentence "directly contradicts" my interpretation is just flatly wrong: it doesn't, and the only way to conclude that it does is to read every indefinite article with an eye towards hyper-literalism while simultaneously ignoring the actual header. In truth, it's quite common to use indefinite articles when writing rigid rules. Try searching any sort of digital law or statute library for the words "may", "could", "might" and other indefinite articles. You will find quite a few of them.
Also, your claim that WP:NOT contraindicates the use of joke categories is questionable at best, and flat out wrong according to most common readings. WP:NOTFORUM advises against using WP for publishing original thought, opinions or discussions unrelated to the project. WP:NOTSOAPBOX prohibits the use of WP for activism of any sort. Joke categories represent neither activism nor original thought, opinions or discussions unrelated to the project. Your accusation that I'm relying on "proof by assertion" is bizarre, ignorant and without basis: Do I need to re-list every peer-reviewed article studying the effects of humor on workplaces and online communities I've posted already? Do I need to re-post all of the links I provided above? You haven't even said specifically what you think I'm asserting without evidence or argument. One begins to suspect that you're starting to play the "accuse them of fallacies to cover the fact that I can't respond to their arguments" game. Considering the fact that you haven't actually responded to the majority of the points I raised, this would not be a conclusion unsupported by the evidence.
Also, if you still can't understand what Fortuna said after the little clarity edit I made; please work on your reading comprehension. It's quite common and readily understandable English. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:44, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Repeat: [1]. You're also across the the WP:ASPERSIONS and WP:JERK threshold now. I don't know why you think this is going to help you get what you want, but it's not.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:36, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • well parsed, MjolnirPants  :D  ;) — fortunavelut luna 18:47, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
    Before you congratulate him, you may want to ask if he also intends to take everything listed at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/User/Archive/Topical index (including its very own, albeit woefully incomplete section on joke categories... if completed, it would be 10 times as long) to WP:DRV. -- Black Falcon (talk) 21:12, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
    Since you obviously missed my reply to SMcCandlish; how many editors in total were involved in those discussions? And how many of them might change their !votes if they knew the "policy" against it was invented out of whole cloth by you? I'm still waiting for that consensus, by the way. You know, the place where a discussion involving a not-insignificant number of editors came to the conclusion that the rules you made up should be policy, instead of just two editors (one of whom may well have been under the impression that it already was policy) deciding to impose rules on the rest of us. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:15, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
    Missed it? No, I deemed it unworthy of reply, because your belligerent and contemptuous tone thus far has convinced me that you've already made up your mind, the facts be damned! However, for everyone else in this discussion, here is some data for the record. Between September 2006 and April 2009, all user category discussions were centralized at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/User. During this 2.5-year period, the page was edited by 1,285 unique editors. Roughly 200 editors made 10 edits or more, and nearly 400 editors made 5 edits or more. Looking at a more recent time period, 64 unique editors participated in one or more user category discussions during the month of October 2017.
    As VegaDark notes below, the consensus for Wikipedia:User categories is reflected in the thousands of user category discussions involving hundreds of editors over time. The guideline was crafted merely as a way of summarizing the consensus across thousands of discussions, so that there would be a short-hand way of referring to accepted arguments without having to rewrite them every single time. -- Black Falcon (talk) 04:19, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
    First off, no amount of "arrogant, belligerent and contemptuous conduct" invalidates an argument. Welcome to grade school logic. Second: You're in no position to whine about another editor's "arrogant, belligerent and contemptuous conduct thus far". Your behavior thus far has been no better than mine in any way, and much worse in several ways. I haven't taken it upon myself to dictate what policy should be without any appreciable discussion. I sure haven't run off to ANI instead of leaving someone the fuck alone when they made it clear they wanted to be left the fuck alone. And I sure as shit haven't thrown a temper tantrum when another admin told me to just leave that guy the fuck alone. The worst thing I've done is tell a bunch of annoying editors to stay the fuck off my talk, and expose an oft-repeated line of bullshit of theirs, all while employing a lexicon that apparently offends your delicate sensibilities. Except when it doesn't.
    I've already explained the problem with your claims about the discussions, and your numbers are about as unimpressive as they get: How many editors have made a dozen edits to that page? What about a hundred? What percentage of !votes is from editors who have made more than 100? And you know what? When I start looking through the actual jokes in that list, guess what three editors I see dominating virtually every thread? How many editors have made as many as you and what percentage of !votes do you account for? Those numbers mean a hell of a lot more than "how many editors have shown up for CfD discussions over the course of 4 years." And finally, how many editors !voted because they believed one of those two bullshit "policies" actually had consensus? The first one predates every single discussion on that page, your version predates another large chunk of them. You can't show me that number; it's impossible. The closest thing you could do is count the number of !votes that make explicit or obvious implicit references to it, something which I started and quickly abandoned as it happened in virtually every discussion. At best, that's a vaguely relevant link that could be used to crunch a shit ton of numbers that might or might not indicate which way an actual consensus might go. You can find vaguely relevant links and wave your hands at them all fucking day, but I know you can't find an actual consensus, or anything that could be reasonably construed as one. Hmm, I wonder why?
    I bet it has something to do with the fact that there have been at least three ANI threads, two RfCs and the serious threat of sanctions made multiple times over the category police deleting joke cats. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:43, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
    First off, no amount of "arrogant, belligerent and contemptuous conduct" invalidates an argument. Of course not, and it wasn't meant to. It does, however, explain why I ignored your comment. Welcome to logic.
    Except when it doesn't. My delicate sensibilities were not offended by your use of "fuck". They were offended by your open contempt for consensus, and by the arrogance of the other admin in refusing to discuss his close and telling another editor to, basically, fuck off.
    I've already explained the problem with your claims about the discussions, and your numbers are about as unimpressive as they get. To quote my previous comment, "you've already made up your mind, the facts be damned!"
    How many editors have made a dozen edits to that page? What about a hundred? 174 and 26, respectively. What's the point? Is 12 or 100 edits in a single venue suddenly the new standard when it comes to having a voice?
    What percentage of !votes is from editors who have made more than 100? I haven't a fucking clue, but the fact is nearly 1,300 editors voiced an opinion at some point. I'm more interested in the strength of arguments and in outcomes than pointless counts of votes.
    When I start looking through the actual jokes in that list, guess what three editors I see dominating virtually every thread? It's almost as if there's some sort of correlation or even causal link between level of interest in categorization and level of activity at CfD (and UCfD). Well, my mind is blown...
    You can find vaguely relevant links and wave your hands at them all fucking day, but I know you can't find an actual consensus, or anything that could be reasonably construed as one. I think I prefer a consensus that stands the test of time through thousands of discussions over a one-time discussion with, to paraphrase your earlier comment, five, six or a dozen participants.
    I don't know you personally or the quality of your content contributions, and so I won't judge you as a person or editor. Furthermore, you are in Category:Wikipedians who like Firefly, so you have at least one redeeming quality. However, at the moment, nothing I've seen (except possibly this) helps me to believe you are willing to have a good-faith conversation. And in case there's any confusion, let me make it plain: I care far less about a handful of user categories than about your conduct (at your talk page and here), which I find simply abhorrent. -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:38, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
It does, however, explain why I ignored your comment. Welcome to logic. That's not logic. That's an emotional reaction. And it undermines your own position, making it counter-logical.
They were offended by your open contempt for consensus, You forgot to put "consensus" in the scare quotes that absolutely belong to a "consensus" that at best comprises a handful of editors with a specific focus on categories, and at worst is an attempt to dictate rules to the project by one or two editors. Yes, I have a lot of contempt for those sorts of consensuses, and even more contempt for editors who insist upon throwing a hissy fit when someone is rude to them, in response to their own rudeness.
To quote my previous comment, "you've already made up your mind, the facts be damned!" Facts my ass, you hypocrite. I've shown Vega literally dozens of examples of peer reviewed science demonstrating that jokes and humor increase productivity and collaboration, in a thread you participated in. The facts are that joke categories would improve the project, and that your behavior surrounding them is a disruption. But god forbid you admit to being wrong about jack-shit.
174 and 26, respectively. What's the point? Do you really need me to explain what the point is? Only 26 editors made a significant number of contributions to that page over the course of 4 years, and you can't grasp the notion that this implies that it's not something that the wider community has much to do with? Really? Why do I keep having to explain the most basic, fundamental shit to you?
I'm more interested in the strength of arguments and in outcomes than pointless counts of votes. Ha! The results say; that is a lie. You're the one who decided to start counting edits when you thought they helped you, now you don't care about edit counts when they don't?
I think I prefer a consensus that stands the test of time Yes, when editors who "enforce" this "consensus" end up dragged to ANI, when RfC's regarding this "consensus" end in "no consensus", when they go to ANI for help enforcing this "consensus" and get shot down in record time, when essentially retired editors come back just to cuss them out and show how full of shit they are... That's a "consensus that stands the test of time".
I don't know you personally or the quality of your content contributions, This little spiel about me is informed entirely by the ignorance of the fact that I don't give a shit what you think about me. (It's also a blatant policy violation and incredibly rude, two things you claim to care about.) But the phrase "I care far less about a handful of user categories than about your conduct" is pure lie: If you didn't care about the user categories you could have backed off when you saw the numerous problems that deleting them causes. But you keep going like the energizer bunny of self-righteousness. You want to see my conduct improve? Try engaging me the way SMcCandlish did above: by calmly disagreeing and explaining why, not arrogantly dictating your own views as if they were carved in stone in the WP:TOS and proclaiming anyone who disagrees with them a problem to be handled. Try approaching the problem with an eye to helping improve the project (as I did the first time I got involved in this reoccurring discussion: offering to help develop tools and volunteering to help in cat space), instead of a focus on punishing editors who were mean to you. Hell, the objection to having joke categories is, itself disrespectful to everyone who wants them (and there are a lot of us, including many editors who've !voted to delete specific joke cats). Try working with editors who disagree with you to find a solution, instead of trying to bend them to your view of the rules.
In other words, try following the behavioral P&Gs you keep telling me I'm failing to live up to yourself. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:51, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Try working with editors who disagree with you to find a solution, instead of trying to bend them to your view of the rules. You mean, like this? What was the outcome of that, again? Oh, yes... you ignored me and two others, and told us all to fuck off. Respect has to be reciprocated, and so far you have not shown yourself capable only of returning it. Also, it's not "my view of the rules", it's just the rules. It's one thing to think the guideline is wrong and should be changed, but I challenge you to read Wikipedia:User categories#jokes/nonsense and reach a different view. I find your statement, that the objection to having joke categories is, itself disrespectful to everyone who wants them, to be quite informative—knowing that you are offended and/or feel disrespected when someone wants or thinks differently than you do, I can more easily understand your behavior.
Look, I'm an urbanite, so I'm not used to wading through so much bullshit. I couldn't find two consecutive sentences in your comment without a logical fallacy, gross exaggeration, insult, or outright lie. So, when your comments are indistinguishable from either intentional trolling or chronic WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT, then no, I will no longer try to engage you. Let's just do each other a favor and stop conversing. -- Black Falcon (talk) 00:32, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
What was the outcome of that, again? Are you seriously contending that making unwanted changes to an editor's talk page, pretending to not get the jokey response you fucking obviously actually got, and throwing a hissy fit about it when it doesn't go your way is an example of how you seek solutions? Well shit, that explains a lot, including the (once again) unsupported bullshit that comprises the rest of your comment. If there were fallacies and lies in my comments you'd point them out, and the fact that you don't is quite telling. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:44, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
The consensus you are searching for is over a decade's worth of user category discussions at UCFD, CFD, and DRV. It is true that we did not always have a user category guideline to cite to editors to make it easier to convey that the category is a bad idea for the encyclopedia. Instead we used arguments that are now codified in that guideline. Those arguments became the de facto consensus by virtue of discussions repeatedly reflecting results consistent with that consensus, and eventually those edits were made to make it an actual guideline, which absolutely reflected consensus at the time and in my view still does. VegaDark (talk) 03:31, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Didn't I already tell you I was done with you? Yup, just like I already shot down this stupid argument twice. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:43, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
VegaDark, he's done with you! What will become of you? How will you ever face another day?!?
Seriously, though, I indented your comment as I thought it was a reply to MP's above. Apologies if I was mistaken. -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:38, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Evidence of frequency or age of practice is not evidence that the practice is a good idea. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:04, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Not necessarily, but it is evidence of consensus. -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:18, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Evidence yes. It has been objected to. Wikipedia:User_categories#Appropriate_types_of_user_categories is challenged, often. I am not objecting to it, but I am objecting to the methods of its enforcement. It was written with a participation by few, and it is enforced by a process involving few, and the formal discussions don't invite the stakeholders. I recommend a clarification of the method of enforcement. Probably an RfC, but as per my comments at WT:RFC, it needs to be started with much more care than the recent RfCs at Wikipedia talk:User categories. Alternatively, invite stakeholders. Alternative again, follow WP:ATD. Edit templates to stop them autocategorizing inappropriately. Assist the protestors in expressing themselves more effectively, probably through ProjectSpace essays and petitions, or UserSpace essays if they mostly want to let off steam. Verbalising what upsets you can be very helpful. Having someone removed your poorly-verbalised statement exacerbates. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:35, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Consensus can change, certainly. However, change should be based on a reasoned consideration of pros and cons, not bad-faith (or plainly false) accusations and distortions (as in the case of MP's comments above). We can have a meaningful conversation about any user category as long as it is civil and part of the conversation considers utility—i.e. addresses the question, What is the value of grouping users on this basis? Unfortunately, the most vocal challenges to the guideline take the form a few paragraphs above, i.e. insults, insinuations, or just plain contempt (for the guideline and/or the editors following it).
I am not objecting to it, but I am objecting to the methods of its enforcement. It's fine, of course, to have conversation on this, but (the status of) the guideline itself and methods of implementation are separate issues and should be discussed separately.
It was written with a participation by few, and it is enforced by a process involving few ... . Written by a few, yes, but based on discussions involving many. As I noted above, nearly 1,300 unique editors participated in UCfD discussions over a 2.5-year period, and 64 unique editors participated in user category discussions at CfD in just the month of October 2017.
I recommend a clarification of the method of enforcement. ... Alternative again, follow WP:ATD. While an RfC may ultimately be necessary, let's try something a little less time-consuming and stressful. Tomorrow, I will try to draft and propose a version of WP:ATD specifically for user categories (aimed at nominators) as well as an "alternatives to user categorization" (aimed at users more broadly). If there is support for the language, we could incorporate it into the guideline.
Cheers, and thanks again, -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:01, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
However, change should be based on a reasoned consideration of pros and cons, not bad-faith (or plainly false) accusations and distortions (as in the case of MP's comments above). We can have a meaningful conversation about any user category as long as it is civil and part of the conversation considers utility—i.e. addresses the question, What is the value of grouping users on this basis? Unfortunately, the most vocal challenges to the guideline take the form a few paragraphs above, i.e. insults, insinuations, or just plain contempt (for the guideline and/or the editors following it). Bullshit. Your unwillingness to acknowledge arguments (that you've clearly understood and responded to already) is not an argument, itself. Unless one is arguing that you have no business participating here. Jesus H Christ, you can't even confine your own contempt to the subject of it; you've got to make sure everyone involved knows that you're engaging in the same exact behavior you find so appalling. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:51, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Not necessarily, but it is evidence of consensus. No, it's not. It's the place to go to look for evidence of consensus. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:46, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
"The consensus you are searching for is over a decade's worth of user category discussions" is correct. Guidelines (when we bother to have them) codify actual practice. The practice has to exist first; that's the consensus. WP:RM, for example, operates almost entirely on this basis; there is no corresponding single page. (There are lots of topical naming conventions pages, and lots of applicable MoS rules, and the WP:CRITERIA, but these just front-load the debates; what emerges is very often an RM-specific evolved consensus about a particular class of article titles.) Precedent matters a lot of XfD-style processes, whether people like that or not. People who demand to see a policy or guideline line item, and demand to see the RfC that put that line item in there, are failing to understand how WP actually lives and breathes. The guideline stuff we bother to write down is largely just that which we're damned tired of rehashing. These codified bits are just the tip of the consensus iceberg.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:59, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Curious... Complaining about "proof by assertion" in one comment, then repeating the same already-responded-to talking point for the fifth time in another. There's a word for that. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:44, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
When you've been pointed to the proper venues for asking the questions and proposing the changes you want to see happen (about this guideline and its consensus level in particular, or P&G editing process in general) and just return to presenting the same demands and rationales as if no one had addressed them (substantively and with a pointer to where they belong), that's a WP:IDHT problem. This is a waste of everyone's time.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:20, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

In order to move forward[edit]

In the interests of moving forward, and of not scratching at old sores, could we agree that certain editors’ posts to this page are undeniable evidence that some editors are upset? Let’s work on improving, not denying, certain things. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:08, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

If you are asking for a concession that "some editors are upset" it would be foolish to dispute that. The legitimacy of those concerns is another matter, but I have no qualms in admitting that some editors are upset. VegaDark (talk) 07:50, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Ditto. Separately, I have started but not yet finished drafting the USERCAT equivalent of WP:BEFORE and 'Alternatives to user categorization'. I expect to be able to propose these within the next 2 days, by 10 October November at the latest. Apologies for the delay, and cheers, -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:21, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Great. You alluded to this 06:01, 5 November 2017. No apology necessary. Thanks. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:23, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Does sound like a good plan to try out, though devils could be in the details. The main reason AFD has become so moribund when it was once among the most active processes, with broad involvement from innumerable editors, is that BEFORE is over-strict, to the "insanely burdensome" level. AfD used to be a process by which multiple editors came together to determine whether an article was sourceable enough to keep. Today, the onus has been put onto a single editor, the nom, who usually has nothing to do with the article and may not have the background, to source it well or determine that it's not well-sourceable. It's also resulting in a tremendous number of crap articles being kept, especially on actors who are competent (have credits in notable films/shows) and who have brief mentions in numerous sources but no in-depth coverage in multiple, INDY RS; it's too much work for the average editor with a WP:N concern to review all available sources and show that there's insufficient in-depth coverage in any of them. I.e., BEFORE is a massive WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY failure. Many of us have pretty much just stopped using AfD.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  10:59, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
AfD is very different, being swamped with nominators. CfD only has a few usercat nominators. If we can agree on a more orderly way to redirect ill-advised attempts at networking and project-advocacy, I think it would be good. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:44, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
I've finished with one of the two sections, and proposed it here. -- Black Falcon (talk) 03:50, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Some borderline potential resource categories[edit]

From Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2017_October_8#Category:Wikipedians_without_a_sense_of_humor...

Toddy1 & VegaDark are discussing Category:Wikipedian feeling discouraged, Category:Disabled Wikipedians and Category:Disabled Wikipedians. These are what I call "borderline". VG thinks they should be deleted. Please don't just simply delete them. To do so will upset a lot of people, not just me, but most of the membership, and many of the community who feel affinity for the membership. They will likely say unkind things about the CfD regulars, and the CfD regulars will take these things unkindly. It has happened before. Do the same thing and it will happen again.
{{small|1=[Two of those are links to the same category.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:55, 9 November 2017 (UTC)]
I call it a borderline potential resource, because it is a collection of self-identifying people by a similar characteristic. This characteristic has impact on their ability to edit, and possible on their style of editing. The category is sort of a resource for identifying editors who may benefit from help, and in obtaining that help. The category experts are right, though, in that it is not a useful category. For whatever resource potential it has, as a category it is neither defining nor very useful. It would be much more useful listified. No two members are exactly the same, on the signup list some statement will want to be made by most. If the members are first listified, I predict confidently that moves to subsequently delete the category, post all information having been transferred, will be far less upsetting to certain Wikipedians. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:05, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
I believe lots of categories should be deleted that I'm not readily prepared to nominate. I agree with you that these particular categories have a higher risk of conflict should I nominate them. I will also bring to your attention that Category:Disabled Wikipedians is eligible for a G4 speedy deletion per this discussion. There's already been a consensus that this isn't helpful to the encyclopedia, as well as a massive amount of other similar categories. Perhaps you could take the lead on these categories and nominate them with a "Listify" suggestion as nominator, and you may get consensus on that. VegaDark (talk) 05:26, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
That is my idea. I am encouraged if you think it could work. Black Falcon has been offering useful comments and alternatives to the specifics of my ideas. I think it will be readily agreed by most that these categories are not ideal methods for networking. I think we agree that the continued existence of categories like this are very confusing to creators of other not so dissimilar categories. And confused creators are prone to saying unkind things. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:53, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Works for me, too, but with caveats. The first: Do not listify if there's already a page for them; just direct the category members to the pre-existing resource(s), usually wikiprojects (the participants list is the "list" already). There already are some in both example cases above. For those with disabilities, we have WP:WikiProject Accessibility, WP:WikiProject Disability and maybe more. For the discouraged, we have WP:WikiProject Editor Retention, WP:Teahouse, and probably other stuff I'm not thinking off right off-hand. And of course people can have userboxes, etc. The fact that these wikiprojects even have their own categories (almost all wikiprojects do, and they certainly can when they don't yet) automatically provides category space for "compatible" userboxes and stuff to use, instead of a new, dedicated one. Second caveat: It is not the responsibility of the nominator to identify alternative resources; that's the responsibility of the minority of respondents convinced that "there's some there there" in a particular case but that a category isn't quite the right fit.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:55, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
All sensible points. "Devils could be in the details" as people sometimes say.
"Do not listify if there's already a page for them"? I think "Listify" includes listifying to a section, not necessarily to a new page. It can also mean listifying to a section on the pre-exciting list talk page. It is likely that these categories contain people who may not want to be listed. Let's not forget that we agree the categories are already judged to be ill-considered. I was previously upset years ago when my attempts to find a middle ground by listifying to the category talk page, explicitly as an intermediate step, was met by admins seemingly unthinkingly hitting G8 buttons.
Autocagegorising userboxes, I think need to come under the purview of categorisation policies and guidelines. The userbox guideline currently gives empty lipservice, on top if being old and dusty.
"It is not the responsibility of the nominator to identify alternative resources". Well, here again we are at an irreconcilable difference? I think there has to be a higher onus on the backrooms editors who seek to undo, with deletions that hide information from normal editors, the work, including self-identifications, of the general community of editors. I think you have an oddly low opinion of BEFORE. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:04, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
If you would like to develop some language for me to include in my nominations insofar as "alternative resources", I am happy to include that language in my nominations, if you think that will make people less frustrated at the process. Bottom line, my only goal is for the categories that don't help the encyclopedia get deleted. And if addressing the concerns you raise will make people more open to that possibility in nominations and less hostile, then there's no drawback to taking your approach, so long as I am not bending over backwards to accommodate by actually creating these alternative resources or otherwise putting in more effort than I deem necessary for a nomination. VegaDark (talk) 01:33, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Did you read my 06:27, 3 November 2017 (UTC) comment at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2017_October_30#Category:Multilingual_Wikipedians: "Bottom line is to do something to help direct possible misguided actions intended to volunteer to help, unless there is a stated reason not to (like it was all a joke), and to not make hard work of it."
I think we are on the same page here. Some bending is asked for, but not over backwards.
Maybe a repository of memberships of Wikipedians who inappropriately used categorisation to self indentify by a characteristic that has borderline potential as a resource. (not very concise I know). As with "Multilingual Wikipedians", it is not very easy to identify the existing resources. It is not realistic to expect the nominator to do that before nomination. It is not realistic even for hoping it can be done during the discussion periof of a CfD, and for many dubiously borderline potential characterisations, it may even be impossible. Just becuase it is hard doesn't mean that that nothing should be done. General listifying to to a new WikiProject's subpages isn't hard, and can't be that objectionable. I am sure it will be easier on you than the possible repurcussions of pressing the G4 button on emotive usercategories that would do better as sign-up pages.
Skimming Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/User/Archive/Topical_index#Wikipedians_by_medical_condition, I see a number of junk joke categories, I see that all are not good categories, and I see that in the discussions, the same group of category-expert Wikipedians consistently overwhelm reasonable objections without appropriately engaging them. Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2014_October_14#Category:Wikipedians_with_autism is a good example of you being right, but doing it wrong. You seem to be non-engaging to objections like "but I also think it's important to keep a friendly atmosphere" and "I am not comfortable deleting this category". You suggested an alternative category, but I think the answer is to relocate to a WikiProject of Wikipedian associations. Probably a new WikiProject solely for this purpose. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:13, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
I just don't see any encyclopedia-building purpose in a "repository of memberships of Wikipedians who inappropriately used categorisation to self indentify by a characteristic that has borderline potential as a resource" thing. That just ends up sounding like a mild-WP:POLEMIC form of shaming. I would certainly not want to be added to such a list (but would actually qualify for it, based on goofy categories I created back around 2006). This whole thing just seems pretty WP:NOT#SOCIALNETWORK. I just don't get the will-not-go-away urge to pander to editors' WP-unrelated and WP-work-unrelated self-labeling exercises in categoryspace. It's just not relevant to our purpose here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:29, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
The encyclopedia-building purpose of what should be done is indirect and per Wikipedia:Editors matter.
IF the ill-considered category does have a plausible claim to be intended for editor networking (like disabled Wikipedians), or was an intention to volunteer for something, and was not a joke, and was not userbox autocategorisation, then the membership can be listified to a page, to which they can be pinged or invited to sign up. The list can then be blanked.
The decision to listify requires judgement. I would listify the membership of Category:Wikipedian feeling discouraged, Category:Disabled Wikipedians, after eliminating the auto-categorised membership. I would definitely listify as the membership of the the Wikipedia-protest categories, as not doing so when deleting has a smell of censorship and suppression. I would not listify joke or offensive categories.
WP:NOT#SOCIALNETWORK doesn't apply to networking Wikipedians.
I don't get why you are so grumpy about this. Do you enjoy seeing the regular rounds of flaming abusive arguments that follow from the normal practice of clearing out USERCAT-violating categories, like that which you participated in above? Something is broken, as VegaDark agreed somewhere. So let's try something else. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:41, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
I decline to continue this circular argumentation. This is just a continuation of the same "all that matters is how people feel, never mind the purpose and rules of the project" stuff you're advocating over here. I don't know how or why it cannot be clear to you that WP does not exist for masturbatory (or, if you prefer, omphaloskeptic) memorializing of users' encyclopedia-improvement-unrelated personal, trivial noise just to make them feel heard. WP:NOT#WEBHOST is clear about this. I've never encountered a single other editor in 12 years here who shares your belief that it somehow only applies to Wikipedians misusing WP as a webhost/social network outward to the general public (That is covered by WP:NOT#OTHOUGHT). There are more practical ways for people to be heard, when WP actually needs to hear it. They're already available and we don't need to do anything other than point people to those places. No weird, pointless, and maybe creepy lists need to be created.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:22, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

"It is likely that these categories contain people who may not want to be listed" and the 'admins may just speedily delete a list page' points amount to arguments against listifying: Yeah, just point them to the existing appropriate resources and people can list themselves (or whatever is appropriate) if they feel like it. If they're still active, which often they are not. Nothing special needs to be done with userboxes that pertain to categories we're deleting. Just remove the category code from the u'box. If we're sure that the u'box is a solid match for a wikiproject, then use the wikiproject category, just like extant wikiproject-related u'boxes do. No special consensus is needed to have a template use a wikiproject category. PS: My opinion of BEFORE cannot be oddly low when BEFORE is clearly directly responsible for people abandoning AfD in droves. I just talk about it and most other BEFORE-disgruntled editors don't bother, while its hyper-inclusionist fans talk it up positively. Analogy: lots of people think pro wrestling and rodeo are stupid, but few of them bother saying much about it, meanwhile there's are whole industry around both of them that makes them out to be fantastic.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:03, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

There will often be reasons to not listify.
Pointing the membership means notifying the membership, whether by ping on a list, or message on their talk page.
Inappropriate userbox autocategorisation should be fixed by cutting the parameter from the template *BEFORE* going to CfD.
"BEFORE is clearly directly responsible for people abandoning AfD in droves"? Says who? I can offer alternative theories. WP:BEFORE is not onerous. AfD would be much easier if nominators would understand the simple requests of WP:BEFORE and improve their nominations. Also, if nominators would please be aware of WP:ATD.
"pro wrestling and rodeo"? I think live and let live, short of animal cruelty like bull fighting. Do you call me "hyper-inclusionist"? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:22, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm skeptical there are ever reasons to listify. Can you give us some scenarios, where doing so serves the interests of Wikipedia at large, in concrete terms, not just a perception of the interests of those who'd be listed, or diffuse suppositions about feel-good stuff? Cutting the parameter: I think many would disagree; it's essentially the same kind of WP:FAITACCOMPLI action as pre-emptively clearing out a category before CfDing it. If the category ended up being kept, then the template would have to be repaired. Various other kinds of templates do categorization, and we don't strip the cat. code out of the templates before doing CfD. AfD and BEFORE: I have no problem with the idea that BEFORE isn't the only factor. But it definitely is one. All it takes is one castigation for not doing enough BEFORE (especially if one actually did make an effort and inclusionists deemed it not enough), to inspire one to be very reluctant to come back to AfD. I'm not in the habit of labeling peoplem and I don't read minds. The arguments you've presented here and at this MfD do strike me as hyper-inclusionistic, but they may just be a blip triggered by your "natural justice" kick for all I know, and not representative of a general over-inclusionism bent. I don't stalk your XfD edits or anything. Anyway, you can have the last word on this if you want. I agree with you that we need to be gentler with people when it comes to categories like those under discussion here, but we need no bureaucracy of any kind added in order do that. No new rules, processes, list types, etc., etc., etc. That's my stance, it's well explained, and I don't need to keep trying to re-explain it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:35, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Ill-advised userbox autocategorisations.[edit]

I just found this written somewhere:

[Is it] not straightforward to remove the autocategorisation from userboxes, and especially from userbox used to create new userboxes? I would love something commented out in the code in the area for a userbox such as "Stop! Just because this has the ability to create a user category does not mean that it should automatically include one! Before entering a new category here, please review our guidelines at WP:USERCAT to ensure the new category meets the standards in place there!" VegaDark (talk) 07:55, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

I agree. This is a good idea. I think using a shortcut to a new paragraph at WP:USERCAT that directly speaks to this issue, is a good idea. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:40, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Same here. This has actually bugged me for a long time. (Aside: We probably need something like this as a shared template documentation transclude for all userboxes, or at least the meta-boxes, because way way too often have people desperately trying to put something in every parameter even when not pertinent, and various topical i-boxes have parameters they don't actually need, as if "just in case" of ... something. The first of these two problems has much to do with why there's a strong anti-infobox camp.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:07, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree. On my early experience with templates, I thought they would break if there wasn't data for every called parameter. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:13, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Stub types[edit]

CfD covers discussions of categories and, since 2012, stub types. In spite of that, the various CfD documentation pages contain virtually no guidance for nominating stub types and closing such discussions. Therefore, I propose to add the below guidance for nominators and closers.

Nomination procedure[edit]

Add the following at WP:CFD#HOWTO, in a new subsection "Stub types":

I
Preliminary steps.

In general, a stub type consists of a stub template and a dedicated stub category. Before nominating a stub type for deletion, merging or renaming:

  • Read and understand guidance for creating stub types and stub type naming conventions.
  • Review the list of existing stub types—be advised, this list may not be comprehensive.
  • If you wish to:
    • Create a new stub type—follow the procedure for proposing new stub types.
    • Delete, merge or rename a stub category only, without deleting or renaming the associated stub template—follow the instructions above this section.
    • Delete or rename a stub template—continue to section II.
II
Edit the template.

Add one of the following tags at the beginning of the template to be discussed.

  • For deletion, {{subst:sfd-t|Year Month Day|Section name}}, where Year Month Day is entered as 2018 01 16
  • For renaming, {{subst:sfr-t|Proposed name|Year Month Day|Section name}}
  • Please include "SFD" or "SFR" in the edit summary, and don't mark the edit as minor. Preview before saving.
  • Consider notifying the template's creator on their talk page. To find the contributor, check the page history of the stub template.
III
Create the CFD section.

Click on THIS LINK to edit the section of CFD for today's entries.

Follow the instructions in the comments (visible during edit), and paste the following text (remember to update TemplateName, ProposedName and Reason):

For {{Sfd-t}}, use:

==== Template:TemplateName ====
:* '''Propose deleting''' {{lt|TemplateName}}
:'''Nominator's rationale:''' Reason. ~~~~

For {{Sfd-r}}, use:

==== Template:TemplateName ====
:* '''Propose renaming''' [[Template:TemplateName]] to [[Template:ProposedName]] 
:'''Nominator's rationale:''' Reason. ~~~~
  • In your rationale, mention how many articles currently use the template to help other editors. When linking to a category in your rationale, always add a colon (:) to the beginning of the link, like [[:Category:Foo]]. This makes a category link that can be seen on the page, and avoids putting this page into the category you are nominating.
  • Preview before saving to check that your nomination is formatted correctly.

Closing procedure[edit]

Add the following (sans quote frame) at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Administrator instructions#Stub types:

In general, a stub type consists of a stub template and a dedicated stub category. Before closing a discussion about a stub type:

When documenting the close, add:

{{subst:cfd top|stub=yes}} '''result'''. ~~~~
(where result is usually either Delete, Merge, Rename, Keep or No consensus)
At the end of the discussion, but before the next section header, add:
{{subst:cfd bottom|stub=yes}}

If the decision affects:

  • A stub category—follow the instructions in the 'Process' section above.
  • A stub template, and the decision is:
    • Keep or No consensus—remove the {{Sfd-t}} or {{Sfr-t}} notice from the template.
    • Delete—replace all transclusions of the template with more appropriate stub types, and then delete the template.
    • Renamemove the template to its new name and remove {{Sfr-t}}, check incoming links and update them (except links from talk pages and discussions), and either delete the newly created redirect or tag it using {{R to stub template}}.

Discussion[edit]

Two technical notes:

  • {{Cfd top}} and {{Cfd bottom}} do not currently accept the stub=yes parameter. I created sandbox versions (here and here) that can be copy-pasted into the main templates if there is consensus for the above changes.
  • {{Sfd-t}} and {{Sfr-t}} do not currently support the parameters I am proposing. I created sandbox versions (here and here) that can be copy-pasted into the main templates if there is consensus for the above changes.

Any constructive feedback or suggested improvements would be welcome. Thanks, -- Black Falcon (talk) 23:53, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

So... shall I take the silence to mean consent? -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:48, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

Malformed CfD[edit]

I found this. 108.210.218.199 (talk) 02:55, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

The category was later nominated and upmerged at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2017 August 30#Category:Fictional sponges. Not quite sure what to do with the subpage, though... xplicit 03:28, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
I deleted the subpage as routine housekeeping, since the 30 August 2017 nomination was unrelated (similar rationale, but a different user). -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:35, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

Should the old name of a category be kept as a redirect after a "rename" or "merge" closure?[edit]

After closing a CfD discussion as "rename" or "merge", should the original title be kept as a redirect, or deleted? It would be nice if this were explicitly mentioned somewhere. The most recent discussion of this issue I found was Wikipedia_talk:Categories_for_discussion/Archive_16#What_can_I_do_to_help?, but it seems it can go either way. feminist (talk) 16:42, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Personally I think it's a judgement call when an admin closes the discussion, but on a general basis I think it's better to keep the category unless it's implausible for other reasons. Redirects are WP:CHEAP, and these category redirects may prove useful as they provide a history of what happened to a certain category. {{R from merge}} and {{R from move}} redirects are usually kept in main space, and I don't see why category space should be an exception. -- Tavix (talk) 16:50, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    • The problem with category redirects is that in many cases they aren't WP:CHEAP. If the category exists as a redirect, editors may add it to an article (HotCat can't distinguish between categories and category redirects), and it would take extra edits to move them to the correct category. See WP:CATRED for details. feminist (talk) 16:56, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
      • There's a report that catches articles incorrectly categorized to category redirects the same way redlinked categories are. See Category:Wikipedia non-empty soft redirected categories. -- Tavix (talk) 16:59, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
        • Yes, but that's not ideal compared to deleting the old title altogether. Category redirects cannot really be compared with article redirects. feminist (talk) 17:04, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
          • Well, I see the value of having the history of the category at a certain title as being greater. If an article were to be restored, it's easier to track the categories and move them to the new one that way. Besides, these can always be handled on a case by case basis at RfD if editors disagree whether an individual category redirect should exist or not. -- Tavix (talk) 17:07, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
            • I don't see why we can't have the same functionality that Commons has, where the HotCat entry of a category redirect causes the correct target category to be added to the article. bd2412 T 02:15, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
              • @BD2412: we do have it. @feminist is wrong here: a redirected category entered via HotCat is corrected by HotCat when the entry is OKed. This doesn't happen when the edit is saved w/o OKing the category. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:24, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
                • BrownHairedGirl, thanks, that clears things up. That being the case, we should definitely keep any reasonable category redirects. bd2412 T 01:38, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
                  • OK, sorry for correcting my mistake. feminist (talk) 13:46, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
                • We do have HotCat, but not everyone uses HotCat to add or change categories. -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:34, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
  • My rule is to delete on a result of rename or merge. A blue link for the redirect is prone to cause too many issues. People often just check if a link is blue without clicking on it for category purposes, which would cause unnecessary future cleanup work in the case of redirects. VegaDark (talk) 02:12, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I much prefer to keep the redirects. I don't see what "issues" @VegaDark is referring to; HotCat catches most redirects entered that way, and @RussBot catches the rest. If the redirect has been deleted, the variant form becomes a redlink which ends up in Special:WantedCategories, where manual cleanup is needed. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:30, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I prefer the category to be deleted in all/most cases. This is so that it's easy to tell if a category exists or not (from the color of link) and to reduce complexity. DexDor (talk) 16:44, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The default should be to delete the old category, unless there is a very compelling reason to keep a category redirect. Category redirects are not the same as redirects in other namespaces, and they are definitely not "cheap". This is partly due to the reasons noted by VegaDark and DexDor, and also because category redirects can result in miscategorization. Take the example of Category:Track and field people from Arizona, which was recently renamed to Category:Track and field athletes from Arizona to better describe its current membership. Retaining a category redirect would result in articles about non-athlete track and field personalities being automatically recategorized (by RussBot) as athletes. -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:33, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
  • My own practice is to keep the redirect if I think it is likely to be entered by other editors, and therefore useful. I always keep redirects from ASCII to non-keyboard characters, e.g. hyphen to dash, or plain characters to diacritics. I keep redirects from WP:ENGVAR e.g. organi[s/z]ations. I also keep players categories for former sports team names, but not for the parent category (old team name itself) as usually there is little scope for additional new articles/sub-categories. I usually delete redirects from different capitalisation as I consider these to be clutter. Cyde's bot, which does most of the work, used to delete most redirects after moves, but when it was rewritten a couple of years ago there was an unintended change in functionality in that it no longer deletes most redirects. I initially resented this, but have got used to keeping more redirects than I used to. – Fayenatic London 22:57, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
  • We seem to be doing category redirects only when the category is something people are very likely to try to use, such that they'd go re-create the category if it were a redlink rather than look for the correct category.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:50, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • The question in the title added "after a rename or a merge". Rename and merge are two different situations: after a rename the target of the redirect will (usually) be a synonym, while after a merge the target of the redirect will (usually) be a category with a broader scope and besides with merging there are usually multiple targets involved. So while I regularly keep old names as a redirect after renaming, I hardly ever keep redirects after merging. Marcocapelle (talk) 15:14, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
    After a rename the target of the redirect will (usually) be a synonym. I agree, but the frequency of cases when the new name is not synonymous is quite high. For example, when Category:French radio was renamed to Category:Radio in France, a redirect was kept; however, French radio can just as easily refer to French-language radio, so the old name and new name are not synonymous. -- Black Falcon (talk) 21:59, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Category not working[edit]

Resolved: Fixed

I must badly need coffee or new glasses. {{Wikipedia glossary}} is supposed to populate Category:Wikipedia glossary items, and is used on numerous pages, but the category is empty. I've looked at (and worked on) the template code and am not seeing a problem. Could use some fresh eyes on this (I also have a splitting headache, which may have something to do with it).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:48, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

@SMcCandlish: It has been broken since this edit. {{{NAMESPACE}}}{{NAMESPACE}}. Your recent edit also included an extra {. — JJMC89(T·C) 04:14, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
@JJMC89:. Thanks. That was driving me nuts.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:23, 9 January 2018 (UTC)